moving house: kitchen tips

February 29th, 2008

tangelo slices on a tupperware lid

We’re moving (yay!). Our tiny little junior 1 bedroom apartment is currently decorated in moving box brown. Everywhere you look there are stacks of cardboard boxes, most of which contain kitchen items. But the tedium of packing our possessions is alleviated by the pleasure of throwing out things we no longer need, and imagining how our new space will look once everything is in place. Never underestimate the value of cabinet space, especially when you’ve got nine boxes labeled “KITCHEN.”

As I’ve been packing up our dry goods and kitchenware, I’ve come up with a few ideas about how to make packing up your kitchen that much easier:

  • Spice racks with bars on the front—to keep the spices from falling out—can probably be packed “as is.” Take the fully stocked spice rack off the wall and place it standing up in a box. If you place other items around it tightly, it probably won’t move much and nothing will fall out or break.
  • If possible, keep one frying pan unpacked so you can fry an egg or cook some sausages. If you’re driving to your new location, you can take the pan with you to use in the new kitchen before everything’s unpacked. Takeout is certainly an option, but it’s always nice to be able to reheat leftovers or fry an egg in the morning. Sometimes eating out of a box can get a little old.
  • Speaking of leftovers, if you have any stoneware dishes or plates, these are perfect for reheating food under the broiler and then serving. There’s always the microwave, but eh… somehow to me, microwaved food never tastes quite right.
  • To minimize the need for restaurant takeout, cook a little extra food for dinner and reserve the leftovers for tomorrow’s breakfast or lunch. You can even do this a week in advance, assuming you have sufficient freezer space. When the move is a few days away and you’ve packed up all your kitchenware, you can defrost the frozen meals under the broiler or in the microwave.
  • A small tin baking pan—the kind that comes with an oven or toaster oven—can be used as a makeshift pan cover. This comes in handy if you want to quickly defrost some food (without using the microwave), or cook dinner just a little bit faster.
  • If you have any old plastic food storage containers, the tops can be used as makeshift plates. I discovered this when I prepared an afternoon snack of tangelo slices and nuts, forgetting that our two remaining dishes were dirty. The little round Tupperware top I found made a decent small plate when used upside down.
  • Milk bottles with caps can be used to store all manner of items. I used them in the kitchen to store grains and beans, and in the bathroom to store ear swabs and cotton balls. I think they look kind of cute, in a retro, Donna Reed kind of way. You can wrap them in newspaper and pack them, or put a bunch of them in a box, placing yogurt container tops between them so they don’t knock against each other.
  • If you buy your yogurt in ceramic crocks, keep the crocks and use them as glasses. This way you can pack your proper glasses and use the crocks instead without worrying if they’ll break. (To be honest, I use them as drinking glasses even when we aren’t packing. They work well for both hot and cold liquids and again, I think they’re cute.)

For tips on organizing your new kitchen, check out the video wisdom of the fabulous Brini Maxwell.

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